Monday, April 6, 2009

DC Challenge #4 (2/1986)

  • Director Darwin Jones of the Department of Scientific Investigation in Washington D.C. was trying, like the readers, to make sense of DC Challenge #1-3. Having borrowed Bobo the Detective Chimp from Sheriff Chase to investigate the chimpanzee's extraordinary longevity, he was pleasantly surprised when Bobo determined a pattern in the unusual instances that circled Metropolis. Just then, Superman arrived to enlist the DSI's analytical help, as it was too much for S.T.A.R. Labs. Bobo had to "chee" at Superman to remind him his JLA signal device was going off, as the Detective Chimp couldn't talk back then, and Superman was still rattled by the beating Mongul gave him. Jones and Bobo then set out for Metropolis.

  • Aquaman: In the Sahara Desert, the Sea King was surrounded by pointy-eared aliens. "We will indeed end the 'menace,' Aquaman-- and you will be one of the most important tools we shall use! ...Just as we took knowledge of the JLA from your mind to 'borrow' their shapes-- we used your signaler to call your comrades! There are several among them who can be important pawns in our game-- for they are traitors to our cause! ...Some of your comrades are no more 'people' than I am, Aquaman! Your purpose is concluded, human. You are now irrelevant, and may prepare to cease existence."

    Martian Manhunter: "Whoever you are, you can't kill a Justice Leaguer that easily!" The Alien Atlas flew into the aliens line of fire, shielding Aquaman with his own body.

    Zatanna: Teleported with Martian Manhunter. "You didn't think we'd ignore our leader's summons, did you, cutie? Besides, I haven't been to Egypt for years, and the sight-seeing's great!" Zee tried to apply her sorcery to the aliens, but it wouldn't work. "The power of magic is no longer so great, woman-- and soon will be gone entirely!"

    Martian Manhunter: Screamed "AYEEEIIIII!" when confined in an energy cage projected from an alien's ray gun. Spirited away through a portal in the sky with the other extraterrestrials. "We will let you live to ponder that knowledge-- for we have the traitor now-- and although your powers may be sufficient to allow you to survive, you are, as we said, irrelevant. Hardly worth bothering to kill."

    Aquaman & Zatanna: "Huh???" Left to die in the desert, again.

  • Batman and Hawkwoman hung from a branch on the side of a Peruvian jungle cliff, until Adam Strange lept to grab the same. The limb snapped, but as Adam had planned, the trio just fell into the Zeta-Beam to Rann that brought Strange there in the first place. On Rann, the heroes met with the Viking Prince, the scientist Sardath and his lovely daughter Alanna in an open field. The mythological monsters had followed a crystal Sardath had left the city with, so Hawkman and Hawkwoman flew to the defense (even though Hawkgirl lost her wings to a monster last issue, hence the falling.) To compound the insult to reader's intelligence, Superman showed up out of nowhere, though it was claimed he too had ridden the zeta-beam after following his JLA signal device to the jungle. However, a magical monster quickly hypnotized and captured the Man of Steel. Then those pointy-eared alien guys showed up to take the crystal from Sardath and use it to barter with the monster for Superman.

  • Darwin Jones and Detective Chimp were in Metropolis on the Daily Planet's roof as an alien invasion began. Our nuclear missiles bounced harmlessly off their ships, although Darwin learned from a phone call to Simpson that in countries still in the dark of night, they were more effective. Invaders burst onto the roof Darwin was on, so he whispered a simple plan to Bobo. The chimp drew fire, as Darwin escaped down a staircase.

  • In New York, Jimmy Olsen enlisted the services of Dr. Terrence Thirteen, Ghostbreaker to solve the mystery of dead celebrities haunting the Daily Planet.

  • Metropolis: Bobo reunited with Darwin Jones, showing him the demons that were also invading, this group in the Planet basement. Radiation the pair seemed to pick up on the roof again passed between them. Bobo pointed to a matter transmitter the demons were using for transport, and convinced Jones to join him in passing through its portal. The demons who remained were printing a newspaper headline declaring Clark Kent was Superman.

  • Before Olsen and Dr. Thirteen reached the airport, aliens conquered New York, even though Floyd also appeared to be in town. The aliens had Supergirl, Superman, Martian Manhunter, Starfire and Jemm: Son of Saturn tied to poles for a public execution. "The independence of this planet has ended! You are now to be a part of the Greater Galaxies-- and these aliens who have lived among you shall be the first to feel our justice! For having dared fraternize with you-- for pretending to live among you in peace-- these traitors shall die!" Jimmy Olsen couldn't help directly, so he guided Dr. 13 through another matter transmitter portal that had appeared.

  • In an energy spewing limbo, Darwin Jones was beyond incredulous regarding Bobo's intelligence. Jones demanded answers from an inarticulate chimpanzee, just as Olsen and Thirteen fell on top of him. After introductions were made, an armed alien invader appeared. "We had not thought any Earthmen had the resources to invade the Plane of Holes-- you surprise us." The alien stunned the humans to sleep, but as he prepared to kill their "pet," Deadman leapt out of Bobo's body. Surprisingly solid, Deadman socked the alien, though his previous host took a hit from the ray gun...

  • Previous issue writer Doug Moench noted the literal Hawkgirl/Batman/Adam Strange cliffhanger was resolved as he imagined. Moench imagined Aquaman would have saved himself by leaping back into the oasis pond and controlling the algae to form either a giant SOS or reflective surfaces to deflect lasers. On the matter of Alanna of Rann being left to fend for herself, Moench said "Paul blew this one completely! Hah!" Instead, Alanna should have used the Projection Device to reverse shrink and imprison the monster in the gem Viking Prince was just released from. Maybe that happened between panels?

  • "Atomic Nights" was by Paul Levitz, Gil Kane and Klaus Janson.

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